Photo Story: Declarations

Image of a crowded airport security area.Her voice is swallowed by the sound of a dozen languages cutting across your ears. You ask her to repeat the question and she says, more annoyed this time, “Do you have anything to declare?”

You aren’t sure if you do. You forgot to study for this exam. Conventional wisdom says never to leave an answer blank, so a limp response falls off your tongue.


She flops open your suitcase with an acoustically pleasing but emotionally distressing whump. Gloved hands rummage through five pounds of nothing. You feel her disappointment before she does.

“No,” she says, sighing. “You don’t.”


Erika Ng is a Boston-based writer and game designer whose most recent musings about sad Gondorians can be found in The Lord of the Rings Online.

Photographer: Diane Cordell

3 Responses to “Photo Story: Declarations”

  1. Leslie Anne Perry says:

    Great story!

  2. Rosanne Trost says:

    Perfect description of the annoyed agent.

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